Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 7 Jun 2010

Israelie boat approaches the Mavi Marmara

Avoided the news all weekend? Missed Andrew Marr and the Today programme? Thought the World Cup had already started and hid under the duvet? The First Post's catch-up service, posted at 8.0 am every Monday, is designed to help... ISRAELIS KILL SCUBA DIVER 'TERRORISTS' The Israeli navy shot dead four Palestinians dressed in wetsuits and carrying diving gear off the Gaza coast early this morning. Israel claims the men were heading north to Israel from a position off the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza and were planning a terrorist attack. The Hamas authority in Gaza has confirmed that four bodies have been recovered and two other people are missing. The incident follows the boarding of another aid ship by Israeli forces - this time conducted without violence. DERRICK BIRD'S MOTHER 'LOCKED HERSELF IN' The 85-year-old mother of Derrick Bird, the Cumbrian taxi driver who shot 12 people dead and then committed suicide last Wednesday, locked herself into her house, fearing she was his next victim, when she saw the news on television that he was on the rampage. The Rev Jim Marshal, of St Michael's Church in Lamplugh, Cumbria, speaking on behalf of the Bird family, said Mary Bird turned on the lunchtime news to learn the "dreadful news" of her son's killing spree, which was still going on. She and her daughter-in-law immediately locked themselves in. More... CAMERON WARNS OF 'YEARS OF PAIN' Prime Minister David Cameron says the British economy is in a worse state than expected and it will need "years of pain" to correct the national deficit of £156bn. In an interview with the Sunday Times he said the official growth forecast inherited from Labour of 3 per cent next year would have to be downgraded. Public sector pay and welfare benefits will take the brunt of the necessary cuts. However, deputy PM Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems was telling the Observer at the same time that there will be no return to the savage cuts of Margaret Thatcher's era. FOXES ATTACK LONDON SISTERS Two baby twin sisters are in hospital after a fox entered their bedroom in Homerton, east London on Saturday night and mauled them while they were asleep in their cots. One of the girls was bitten in the face, and both have arm wounds. A rise in the number of urban foxes has been reported in London, but they are not normally aggressive towards humans. ACROBATS WIN BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT The latest series of the ITV show Britain's Got Talent was won on Saturday night by Spellbound, a 13-strong troupe of acrobats from Middlesex. While praising the troupe's "astonishing" act, judge Simon Cowell is understood to be concerned about the diminishing pool of talent entering the show. His publicist, Max Clifford, admitted that one option is to upgrade to a World's Got Talent show next year, upping the chances of discovering potential superstars. RAFAEL NADAL IS NUMBER ONE With the start of Wimbledon fortnight just two weeks away, the 24-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal (above) will regain the world number one ranking today after beating Robin Soderling of Sweden in straight sets to win the French Open yesterday. It was Nadal's fifth French Open and his seventh Grand Slam title in all. By usurping Roger Federer at the top of the table, Nadal leaves the Swiss player a frustrating one week short of Pete Sampras's record of 286 weeks at the top. OVER-65s 'EXEMPT FROM CGT' The Government may have found a solution to its unpopular plan to raise Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to 40 per cent from the current 18 per cent. Chancellor George Osborne is reported by the Sunday Telegraph - which has been campaigning against the tax rise because of its effect on older people's savings plans - to be looking at a proposal to exempt over-65s from the new higher rate. COLES APART The England defender Ashley Cole is reported to have found a new girlfriend just before leaving London with the World Cup squad for South Africa - a former lap-dancer, who is the spitting image of his estranged wife, Cheryl Cole. According to the News of the World, Sarah Purnell is a former Spearmint Rhino dancer who wants to be a singer. She has applied to appear on The X Factor but has never been auditioned. With Cheryl Cole being one of the judges, that is even less likely to happen now. BA STRIKE LEADER FLIES OFF Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union which has called BA cabin crews out on strike, has worked the Sunday tabloids into a lather by jetting off to Cyprus on holiday. Needless to say, he chose not to fly with BA - because of the risk of never getting home again. Meanwhile, another union bogeyman, the former miners' leader Arthur Scargill, is accused of claiming more than £250,000 in expenses for the rent and running costs of a luxury flat in the Barbican Centre in London, despite retiring as union president eight years ago. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TWEET Ardent Twitterer Stephen Fry unveiled the "world's most beautiful tweet", as entered in a compitition to close the Hay literary festival on Sunday. It read: "I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it'll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it." It was written by Marc MacKenzie from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, writing under the name @marcmack.

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Jack Bremer is a London-based reporter, attached to The Week.co.uk. He has reported regularly from the United States and France.